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Activities, Egypt

There’s plenty to keep you occupied on a visit to elegant Egypt. Snorkel in the crystal clear waters on a Tiran Island Boat Trip, cruise along the sands on a six-hour Quad Bike Safari Trip to Sahara, or ride atop a camel on a Sunset Safari Tour. By night, enjoy gourmet food as you sail past Cairo’s stunning skyline, on a Nile River Dinner Cruise. The atmosphere here is incredible, with belly dancers shimmying to live music performed by the talented house band.

Coptic museum

The Coptic Museum in Cairo is located inside the ruins of the Roman Babylon Fort in Masr El Qadema in Coptic Cairo Centre an area which is full of Coptic Churches and chapels like the famous hanging Church and the Church of St Barbra.

Today the museum consists of two main sections: the old sector established by Smeka Pasha and the new section that consists of two floors which were opened for the public in 2006 after a huge renovation and restoration period that cost more than £30. The museum now displays about 1600 items collected from various regions around Egypt and is considered to give a complete picture of the Coptic history in Egypt.

The museum has a gift shop and a catalogue of the museum’s collection is available to purchase. The museum is open from 9 am to 9 pm daily and is wheelchair accessible.

Hot air balloon

Hot air balloons are very popular in Egypt especially in Luxor and an absolutely brilliant way of seeing the city from a different angle. Climb into the basket and get ready to take to the air as the reams of fabric impressively rise as the flame roars into life. The balloon’s course cannot be guaranteed as it depends on the wind, so no two flights are ever the same. The balloon’s basket is secure and steady so take advantage of this incredible photo opportunity and bag yourself some fantastic shots.

Imagine drifting silently over one of the world’s biggest open museum in the world, the spectacular Valley of the Kings, the temples of Karnak and Luxor and all the other ancient sites.

All of this makes for a spectacular experience so why not give it a go?

Imhotep Museum

The Imhotep Museum is an archaeological museum located at the foot of the Saqqara necropolis complex, near Memphis in Lower Egypt.

In 1997 the building of the new museum began. The idea was to have a special place dedicated only to the many discoveries from this area and eventually in April 2006, the new Imhotep Museum was opened. A modern museum, both in technology and security, this is a place not to be missed on your next visit to Saqqara.

The museum consists of five halls: Theatre and model of the funerary complex, Main Hall including the architectural elements, New Discoveries, Model Tomb Hall, and the Library of Jean-Philippe Lauer.

Although this is a relatively small museum it is very well organised and interesting and is most certainly worth a visit. It is open 7 am to 7 pm during the main season and 8 am to 5 pm the rest of the year.

Luxor Temple

The temple of Luxor is situated on the east bank of the River Nile in the town of Luxor. The temple was built around 1400 BC and was known as “ipet resyt” (the southern harem). The temple is one of the best preserved of all of the ancient monuments with large amounts of the structure, statuary and relief carvings still intact. It is dedicated to Amon, the king of the gods, his consort Mut, and their son Khons.

During the Christian years, the temple’s column supported hall was converted into a Christian church but then for thousands of years it was buried beneath the streets and buildings of Luxor. In time, the mosque of Sufi Shaykh Yusuf Abu al-Hijal was built over it and eventually the temple was uncovered and preserved.

The temple is open at night until 9 pm and is beautifully lit.

Nubian Museum

The Nubia Museum was established in 1997in co-operation with UNESCO and is a reminder of what was lost beneath Lake Nasser. The museum won an Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 200 and is a wonderful showcase of the history, art, and culture of Nubia.

The exhibits start with prehistoric artefacts and objects from the Kingdom of Kush and Meroe and are beautifully displayed in huge halls, where clearly written explanations take you from 4500 BC through to the present day.

The museum also displays 6000-year-old painted pottery bowls, an impressive quartzite statue of a 25th-dynasty priest of Amun in Thebes, stunning horse armour found in tombs from the Ballana period and a model of a Nubian house, complete with old furniture and mannequins wearing traditional silver jewellery.

The museum is open daily 9 am to 1 pm and then again 4 pm to 8.30 pm.

Pyramid tours

The pyramids of Egypt are magnificent and breath-taking and are Egypt’s foremost archaeological attraction. Because of the unrest in Egypt at the moment, it is probably advisable to book a guided tour rather than try to “go it alone”. Tours take care of your transportation and provide expert commentary, but there are drawbacks: You will be at the pyramids during the busiest time, and admission to the pyramids is handled separately and governed by a quota, so being tied to a group might deny you the opportunity to go inside.

You could book a private one-to-one guide to take you around, which means you can determine the amount of time you’d like to spend at each of the sites you’ll visit or alternatively, you could hire a taxi for the day if you want to visit a few different pyramids and don’t mind not having a guide with you.

Quad biking

There are so many brilliant things to do and see in Egypt, but Quad Biking through the desert is in a class of its own. There are many operators offering quad biking excursions to holidaymakers whichever resort they are staying in. On a quad, you will see the beautiful sights of the desert from a totally different perspective.

A typical quad bike adventure would be: To whizz through the Egyptian desert on a quad bike starting at Sharm el Sheikh with an experienced instructor/guide leading the way. Zoom over dunes and peaks as you gain confidence and pick up speed. Enjoy the sheer exhilaration and take in the beauty of the desert landscapes as you fly across the sands. Absolutely thrilling.

On a note of caution though, it is best to book your ride through a reputable company to ensure your safety.

River Cruise

For many, cruising down the Nile is something they have long wanted to do. If you are lucky enough to have the opportunity of taking this river cruise then you really must. Unlike most rivers, the Nile flows south to north.

Ancient pyramids, temples and colourful bazaars are just some of the highlights of a Nile River cruise through Egypt. Itineraries generally include tours of landmark sights in Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan, as well as visits to more secluded temples such as Abu Simbel. With so many things to see, a Nile River cruise includes plenty of tours, but there’s also time to relax and watch the world float by.

You will see ageless landscapes that have hardly changed since pharaohs ruled, farmers tending their land with hoes, and families living along the banks in traditional mud brick houses, just as they have done for thousands of years.

Royal Jewelry Museum

The Royal Jewelry Museum is an art and history museum in the Zizania neighbourhood of Alexandria and is located in the former palace of Princess Fatma Al-Zahra. It houses extremely valuable displays including the jewellery and ornaments that the queens and the princesses of the last royal family of Egypt have worn.

The museum has more than 11,000 displays that include the collection of Prince Mohamed Ali Tawfik which consists of 12 cups that were made out of bronze and gold, 2753 lobes of precious stones and diamonds, and a money bag made out of gold plus other valuable precious stones.

Also on display here, is the priceless collection of Prince Mohamed Ali Tawfik, the collection of some golden clocks and watches, Turkish, Egyptian, and European insignias decorated with gold and diamonds, and 4000 Roman, Persian, Byzantine, and Coptic coins.

If you like “bling”, this is the place for you.

Scuba Diving

Egypt is much more than ancient monuments and pyramids, especially for scuba divers. A soft and hard coral haven with clear visibility, the Egyptian Red Sea teems with all sorts of fish such as blue spotted rays, butterflyfish and angelfish, making it a brilliant scuba diving destination.

Just beyond the shore lie cool, azure waters, beautiful coves, millions of fish, fantastic visibility, sheltered reefs, towers, pinnacles, cave lagoons, dramatic drop offs, walls, coral gardens and wrecks. They all call out to scuba divers.

Experienced divers will probably choose to dive near Hurghada and Marsa Alam, whereas the less experienced, might prefer to dive around the Sinai Peninsula resorts.

Wherever you choose, you can be assured of brilliantly clear water and water temperatures ranging from 21-30°C depending on the season and scuba diving is good all year round.